Thursday, June 8, 2017

Week 23: Garlic-Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

The Recipe
200-250g mushrooms
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
100g cream cheese
1/4dl breadcrumbs
1/2dl parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the stems off of each of the mushrooms (I found it easier to break them off) and chop them finely. Set aside the caps for later.

Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Cook the chopped stems and garlic for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid the garlic burning. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Combine with cream cheese, breadcrumbs and parmesan, mixing until evenly combined.

Put the mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Spoon a generous amount of the cream cheese mixture into the hole left by the stem. Bake for 20 minutes.

The Verdict
Unfortunately not nearly as good as I'd expected. I think perhaps the mushrooms I got were too big so the filling/mushroom ratio was off? Whatever the case, they couldn't live up to my expectations and were too much work for me to bother with again.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Week 9: Croissant Rolls

The Recipe
2 cans refrigerated croissant rolls (the ones that make 6 rolls each)
1 bell pepper in slices
8-12 slices cheese (depending on the size)
150g mixed deli meats (I used a tapas mix with salami, dried ham and various other types)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Unroll both cans of dough and separate into 6 rectangles. On a pie pan or pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap)
Spread bell peppers toward center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer mixed meat over cheese. Cover with remaining half of cheese.

Bring top halves of rectangles over the filling and tuck the dough under bottom layer to secure it. If there's too much dough so the inner layer becomes too thick, rip some of it off and use to cover any wholes (some filling might still show - that's fine). Sprinkle with black pepper.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices. Serve with sweet chili sauce or salsa.

The Verdict
I missed out the "make sure the inner layer of dough doesn't become too thick" part the first time around, so some of it ended up a bit chewey. It's definitely more of a snack food than a meal, but I liked it and it was easy enough to make. Definitely might give it another shot for a tapas evening or similar.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 49: Butternut Squash Soup

The Recipe
2tbsp butter (optional)
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 large potato, cubed
1 carrot, cubed
1 onion, cubed
150g bacon, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 liter chicken stock
2.5dl (~1 cup) cream
chili to taste
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of curry

Turn on the oven to 175C and bake the squash for 1 hour (poke some holes in the skin to allow steam to get out) - this will make it a lot easier to get the skin off.

In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.

If necessary, add the butter to the bacon fat and cook the potato, carrot, onion and squash for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Add bell pepper, bacon and cream and heat up. Season according to taste.

The Verdict
A bit of an experiment. I've never actually made butternut squash soup before, but I've had it a few times and always loooooved it. This was pretty good for a first attempt, and definitely worth making again just as-is, but I think I want to play around with the tastes a bit more. Baking the squash ahead of time should make it a bit sweeter, so I want to see what it's like if I don't do that first. I also want to try making it with coconut milk rather than cream.

But definitely something I want to make again. Even DH complimented it :)

ETA: I've now tried it again, and trying to peel the butternut squash without baking it first is a hassle and a half! Not sure it's worth it.
Substituting the cream for coconut milk is an excellent change though! It was even better than last time :-) Could do with a bit more bacon, bell pepper and chicken stock though. But really, really, really good :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week 45: Baked Chicken Parmesan

The Recipe
450g chicken breast
1 400g jar of your favourite pasta sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
chili flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
50-60g croutons
1/4dl fresh basil
125g mozzarella, divided
~1 dl grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 175*C.

Coat an ovenproof dish with olive oil, chili flakes and garlic. Put the chicken on top (cut the big pieces in two if necessary) and pour the pasta sauce over.
Sprinkle the fresh basil on top and cover with half the mozzarella and half the parmesan.
Add a layer of croutons and finish off with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Serve with pasta.

The Verdict
This was very much a 'plan B' recipe when my original idea fell through. Fortunately it worked really well - quick and easy to prepare, so great for an evening where I didn't really feel like cooking, and I'd found a really good pasta sauce so the spices meshed perfectly. Even DH complimented the dish, which is rare for something involving chicken. Definitely something I'll make again.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week 36: Cider-glazed salmon

The Recipe
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
2 cups fresh apple cider (non-alcoholic) or apple juice
2 salmon fillets
½ cup cream

In a large pan, melt butter and add onion and cider. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove and discard onion.

Add salmon to pan. Spoon a bit of liquid over them. Cover and simmer (gently! otherwise they get dry and tough) for about 8-10 minutes depending on thickness until desired done-ness. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Raise heat to high, add salt and simmer, stirring frequently until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream. Stir well to combine. Boil, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, utnil the mixture darkens to a pale golden caramel and is reduced further.

Place the salmon plates and top each with a spoonful of sauce. Serve immediately.

The Verdict
I'm in the very strange situation that I can say that this tasted good... but I just didn't like it. The sweetness of the cider worked well with the salmon, and the onion gave it a nice twist. ... it just wasn't for me.

I have no clue how that even works *shrug*.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 35: Picnic Cake

The Recipe
250g soft butter
250g sugar
3 eggs
75g coconut flour
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g chocolate, chopped
1 small can pineapples (220g)

Nib sugar ("perlesukker" in Danish). Ordinary sugar can be used as a substitute.
Nut flakes.

Drain the pineapples, reserving about half the fluid. Put pineapples and fluid into a blender (or similar) and pulse until it's turned to mush.

Mix together butter and sugar until thoroughly incorporated. Add eggs and mix. Add remaining ingredients, including pineapple mash.

Pour into a greased ovenproof dish (~20cm x 25cm). Sprinkle sugar and nut flakes on top.

Bake at 175C for 40 minutes or until done.

The Verdict
Really delicious cake... but then, I'm likely to love anything with chocolate and nuts ;)
Easy to make, so will probably be a stable in my repertoire from here on.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 31: Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

The Recipe
(Serves 3-4)
~1lb chicken - thighs or breasts
Salt and pepper
1 tsp oil
1 cans (~14oz / 400g) coconut milk
1 tbsp basil
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ginger
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tbsp cold water

Salt and pepper each chicken piece.

Heat oil a large pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.

Add next 9 ingredients to slow-cooker (coconut milk through garlic) and stir to combine. Add chicken and stir again to coat chicken. Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow-cooker and shred, discarding any bones or tough bits.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Mix thoroughly, add to the slow-cooker and stir. Add bell pepper and stir again.

Return the chicken to the slow-cooker and stir. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with rice or naan.

The Verdict
Almost too spicy for my DH. I think I'll cut down on both the curry powder and chili next time I make it - perhaps just 1tsp curry and 1/4tsp chili.

Otherwise we both really liked it! It needed a bit more salt when serving, and would probably have been better with dark meat instead of white (I used 2 chicken breasts), but I really liked the spices. Definitely something I'll be making again.